Chew on this

Remarks by ex-White House chef inspired a study on eating and gender

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A new study that was inspired by the curious remarks made by a former White House chef is revealing how men and women eat differently and how gendered expectations play into that phenomenon. First, though, the comment from the White House chef: When Walter Scheib was asked by a reporter how he’d approach preparing food for Bush and Obama, presumably two men with different tastes, he gave a surprising answer. “I think the key word there is ‘men.’ There isn’t blue state food and red state food,” Scheib explained. “Food at the White House has a tendency to delineate along gender lines as opposed to political lines. Both presidents that I worked with, if we had opened up a BBQ pit or rib joint, they’d be just as happy.” And with that, a study was spawned that now indicates, perhaps not surprisingly, that healthier foods are typically viewed as “feminine” and less healthier foods are viewed as “masculine” — and people often make their food choices based on those perceptions. Also, interestingly, packaging has a major impact on how people view food. Luke Zhu, one of the professors behind the study, said a key finding is people that should be mindful of how gender norms impact their food choices. And no word on whether a BBQ pit is coming to the White House soon.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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